NEW RUSSIA — Residents from the hamlet of New Russia had the chance to let the United States Postal Service know how they feel about their post office.
They also heard about the timetable that may decide the fate of the facility during a Nov. 1 meeting with the manager of post office operations for the Albany District of USPS, Dan Cronin.
“We were assigned to do studies for the potential discontinuation of services or closure on the New Russia Post Office,” Cronin said to the crowd of 52 who packed into the Elizabethtown town offices.
“I told you there would be more than a few,” remarked New Russia Postmaster Margaret McCoy.
Cronin said there are a total of 40 offices in the Albany District that are part of the more than 3,700 offices nation-wide that are being studied for potential closure. Other sites include North Hudson, Bakers Mills, Ellenburg, Rainbow Lake and Moriah Corners.
Cronin said he has done 15 community forums so far, and that the meeting is a chance for people to speak out about their post office.
“It’s your chance to state your case,” Cronin said. “This kind of crowd does have an impact. We know how many people show up here compared to the number of customers that we have in New Russia.”
Those in attendance at the meeting stressed that they felt that the office should remain open for various reasons, including the basis of the post office as a community center and the friendly hours for those who use the services.
Cronin said all of the comments would be made part of the permanent record and the study that is ongoing about the New Russia site, with Lake George Acting Postmaster Jodi Finnegan taking minutes for Cronin throughout the meeting.
Ultimately, Cronin said there is a timetable of between 120 to 150 days following the public forum for the fate of the New Russia Post Office to be decided.
“After this community meeting, there will be a proposal written in the next few weeks with a recommendation on whether it should stay open or not and what alternatives for the service should be if it were to be closed,” Cronin said. “That will be posted for 60 days in the New Russia Post Office for a comment period. It all then goes to headquarters in Washington and then there will be a 60-day notice with a 30-day window to appeal.”